In the realm of portable and handheld video gaming, the closest to hand and easy to approach device is a mobile phone which has limited performance as compared to full-fledged Desktop Gaming PCs and Gaming Notebooks. But nowadays mobile phones are being designed in accordance to run not only the games of the present time but promises reliability in coming 2-3 years without drawing back the “too old to run” phenomenon.

Thanks to some insanely addictive games like PUBG, Asphalt 9 and Fortnite, the smartphone industry is targeting to overcome the “Low FPS” or “compromising on performance to talk-time” dilemma. There is always a convention, “never settle”, in multiplayer games. It means unparalleled performance without compromising on the aesthetic appeal of a smartphone.

Taking into consideration the power derived by smartphone’s GPU, CPU, Memory, Chipset, Wifi, and Software/OS compatibilities, best gaming smartphones of 2018 are ranked below:

Note: Speaking of best gaming phone, there is never a single phone as best in this context. We will be looking at both the pros and cons of these smartphones.

1. Asus ROG Phone

Release date: June 2018 | OS: Android 8.1 | Screen size: 6-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2160 | CPU: Snapdragon 845 | RAM: 8GB | Battery: 4000mAh | Rear camera: 12MP+8MP Dual | Front camera: 8MP

Asus ROG Phone features a 90Hz display with the best design amongst the ones on the top ranked. Asus has always been the favourite of the leet gamers. So as Razer, Asus ROG also just stepped into the mobile phones market and just nailed the first impression. Before ROG Phone, there is mid to high tier phone series known as Asus Zenfone. Asus gives an opportunity for players to play on a fleek via side port extension as shown below:

Calculating possibilities, features, durability, and design Asus ROG Phone is for all who are seeking for public and self-attention!

Read more on https://www.asus.com/Phone/ROG-Phone/

2. Razer Phone 2

Release date: November 2017 | OS: Android 8 | Screen size: 5.7-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 2560 | CPU: Snapdragon 845 | RAM: 8GB | Battery: 4,000mAh | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 8MP

While other mobile phone makers trying to maintain games for a constant 60FPS buttery smooth gaming, here comes famous gaming peripheral maker “Razer” with its second tremendous step in mobile gaming era featuring 120Hz display! Means it can unlock 60FPS barrier and let the gamer to experience glorious 120 frames per second (FPS). Razer nailed this hardware combo with a 1440p of uncapped display and sets new groundbreaking possibilities. Its design is as similar to the Xperia XZ2 which is not that fluent.

3. Xiaomi BlackShark

Release date: April 2018 | OS: Android 8 | Screen size: 5.7-inch | Resolution: 2160 x 1080 | CPU: Snapdragon 845 | RAM: 8GB | Battery: 4000 mAh | Rear camera: 20MP | Front camera: 20MP

Xiaomi is the latecomer in the mobile phone market with a seamless potential to offer for less cost. Xiaomi BlackShark is some real deal, featuring water cooler to overcome heating issues while performing on a peek. Black Shark wields snapdragon 845 having the best integrity which helps to get most of the juice from CPU, GPU, and camera (4k recording). Black Shark is an iconic option available yet in top 5 mobile phones for gaming. Overall the Black Shark design represents itself a gaming phone with its funky look and detachable joystick for precise movements. Its design seems a bit baloney to carry in public, I think the world is not ready for it!

4. Sony Xperia XZ2

Release date: February 2018 | OS: Android 8 | Screen size: 5.7-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2160 | CPU: Snapdragon 845 | RAM: 4GB | Battery: 3,180mAh | Rear camera: 19MP | Front camera: 5MP

From a famous game console (PlayStation) maker “Sony”, Xperia is a next best thing sony offered to game enthusiasts. Bringing a revolution in the gaming realm via the PlayStation platform, Sony itself is a game changer and a hope of betterment in the gaming industry. Xperia always has its own one of a kind design in each era of its flagship, same bold design with almost pointy corners. Sony Xperia XZ2 is a successor of the Xperia Z series.  Xperia XZ2 is a wildcard for mobile gaming. Xperia XZ2 is capable to drag every game off to its max setting but the only drawback is that Xperia phones get hotter with constant gaming session and limits the output.

5. iPhone X

Release date: October 2017 | OS: iOS 11 | Screen size: 5.8-inch | Resolution: 1125×2436 | CPU: A11 Bionic | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 64/256GB | Battery: 2716mAh | Rear camera: 12MP+12MP | Front camera: 7MP

Apple’s Mac OSX compatible PCs lack the most out of PC gaming but good thing is that the IOS devices are giving an opportunity for its users to avail almost all the games ever developed for mobile phone devices. iPhone X is the brand new flagship of iPhone franchise breaking all records in performance aspects compared to its rival phone on release, the Samsung Galaxy S8, S8+ and Note 8.  With its immensely optimized OS and subtle specification combo still gives top notch and literally the best out of top-ranked gaming phones ever made. And iPhone X is excel at playing all games on 60FPS without any compromised visual settings.

6. Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus

Release date: March 2018 | OS: Android 8 Oreo | Screen size: 6.2-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 2960 | CPU: Snapdragon 845 / Exynos 9810 | RAM: 6GB | Storage: 64GB/128GB | Battery: 3,500mAh | Rear camera: Dual 12MP | Front camera: 8MP

Galaxy S9 and S9+ is the new flagship of Samsung Galaxy smartphones featuring the next-gen camera which is not a concern to discuss here (in gaming). The Gaxay S9 Plus is considered the best S series phone yet absolutely for its later release but not much later than Galaxy Note 8 as a panic comeback against iPhone X. Still, the iPhone X outperforms Galaxy S9 plus because of S9 plus can’t handle games for too long at constant 60 FPS. Average recorded FPS was 40 in mentioned games with quality a bit descended between high to max. Reason for a downfall is the bad duo of beasty hardware with bad battery & bad software optimization.

Here’s the benchmark of some remarkable android gaming smartphones:

XIAOMI BLACK SHARK Razer Phone GALAXY S9+ (QHD+) SONY XPERIA XZ2
Geekbench CPU
Single core
2,441 1,932 3,771 2,412
Geekbench CPU
Multicore
8,498 6,700 8,923 8,420
3D Mark
Sling Shot ES 3.1
4,644 3,731 3,257 4,679
3D Mark
Sling Shot ES 3.0
5,056 5,007 3,910 6,140
3D Mark
Ice Storm Unlimited ES 2.0
60,450 42,526 38,302 63,589
PassMark Memory
(RAM)
11,038 14,630 24,164 12,418
PassMark Disk
(Storage)
73,561 74,882 67,765 73,208

Conclusions

Regardless of which one is better in performance, Everyone got their own priorities. Some Want 3rd party features like attachments, some want flawless design and some want mighty specs even if it means having to compromise on the aesthetic appeal of a smartphone. These are the best options provided by keeping these public perspectives (design, performance, specs and features) in mind and discussion.